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I don’t remember a summertime without the sight of my mother yielding her flyswatter. She took (and still does take) special pleasure out of whacking the heck out of any fly that dared cross our threshold. I’m not sure if given the chance she’d use this remedy – maybe at first, but in the end the flyswatter will probably win out. My mother without the sheer glee of flywhacking? Oh what would summer be then? For the rest of us, I propose this simple remedy to keep the houseflies at bay.
Take several small mesh bags, such as the types used for sachets. If you’re crafty, you can make your own little bags. Or purchase reusable cloth tea bags or cheesecloth. Fill each with a blend of a few of the following dried herbs: Bay leaves, chamomile, basil, crushed cloves, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, mint leaves. Tie up the little bags at any doors and windows that tend to get opened during warm weather. Every now and then, to freshen the bags, give them a little squeeze when you walk by. Alternately, you may put a few drops of essential oils of any of the previously mentioned dried herbs to give a boost when the herbs start to lose their scent.
You may notice after using these little bug repelling sachets that flies aren’t the only bugs missing from your home’s interior! Many other bugs don’t care for these fragrances either. Another big help: If a spider happens to find her way into your windowsill and builds her home there, let her stay. Her bug eating prowess will beat out even my mother’s talents with her trusty flyswatter!
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I’ve about had it with those pesky buggers. They may glimmer in the sun like a well-polished stone, but these garden pests are chomping up the jewels of my garden. Time to get serious here. I told you about how to get rid of Japanese beetles using garlic in a previous article, but aside from hanging garlic bunches in my trees (which I’m not too proud to do, mind you), I did come across what looks to be a very popular solution.
Making your own Japanese beetle trap really isn’t that difficult. Although some people argue you’ll just lure more beetles to your trees, I’ve used conventional traps in the past with great success. But darned if the traps don’t stink. Being that I am not a beetle myself, I am quite repelled by the smell. I’d rather smell fresh cut grass while sitting in my yard.
Here’s what you do: Get a one-gallon plastic milk jug and cut the top off. Not too big of an opening. Leave the handle on too. Now mix 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of sugar and a packet of yeast. (I’ve also read just a teaspoon will do.) Mash a banana and stir that around in there too. Hang this adorable contraption from the infested tree about 3 feet off the ground. Decorate to suit your taste. Or hang it on the side where the neighbors won’t see. Or just hang it. It looks better to have a milk jug in your tree than no tree at all, as is the case in my back yard. Dead tree. Once the beauty of our yard. Feasted on by Japanese beetles.
I somehow feel better, having relieved myself of my true feelings for the bug, and having shared with you all how to make your own Japanese beetle trap. The only thing I really won’t enjoy is scooping out dead bug bodies with an old slotted spoon, but hey, long live my trees!
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